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US overreacting to North Korean missile tests

North Korea’s missile tests do not actually threaten the US. Instead of sabre rattling and blaming China the US needs to talk to Pyongyang.

Alexander Mercouris

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North Korea’s second successful test launch of its Hwasong-14 missile has resulted in typically fiery rhetoric and sabre rattling from Washington.

Firstly the US stepped up its military exercises with South Korea, flying B-1 Lancer bombers “across the Korean Peninsula” (presumably that means across South Korea, though the way the flight is being reported appears intended to convey the undoubtedly false impression that they might have also overflown North Korea).  Then there was the announcement of a THAAD interceptor missile test.

President Trump meanwhile has been railing at China for its supposed failure to bring the North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile programme to a stop.

Not to be outdone, Nikki Haley, the US’s ambassador to the UN, has issued a statement saying the US will not seek a further UN Security Council Resolution to press North Korea to disarm and has also in effect blamed China for the impasse

In a sense Nikki Haley is right.  China and Russia made clear following the previous North Korean Hwasong-14 test that they were not prepared to countenance the sort of suffocating sanctions on North Korea that the US wants.  When Nikki Haley says that

An additional Security Council resolution that does not significantly increase the international pressure on North Korea is of no value.  In fact, it is worse than nothing, because it sends the message to the North Korean dictator the is unwilling to seriously challenge him.

She gives the game away.  She knows perfectly well that China and Russia will not countenance the sort of ‘suffocating sanctions’ resolution that the US wants, and neither she nor anyone else in the US wants to risk a Chinese and Russian veto which would simply highlight the fact.

That is why – with Russia supporting China and with China having possibly the support of other non-permanent members of the Security Council as well – Nikki Haley does not want to risk a Security Council debate and a vote which will simply expose the weakness of the US’s position.

Since however it seems that the Chinese and Russians are looking to convene a meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the latest North Korean missile test, it is quite likely one will happen whether Nikki Haley or the US want one or not.  If that does happen notwithstanding Nikki Haley saying the US doesn’t want it to, then nothing could better illustrate the blind alley US intransigence on the North Korean issue has led the US into then the fact that at China’s and Russia’s initiative the UN Security Council is discussing the North Korean issue against the wishes of the US.

The trouble is that apart from military action – of the prospect of which see below – the US acts as if it has no options other than to rail at China to solve the North Korean problem for them.

The reality is that the US most definitely does have other options.  Before it exercises them the first thing it needs however to do is calm down.

I do not think the US truly understands how self-indulgent its behaviour appears on the North Korean issue to the other north Pacific powers.  China, Japan, Russia and South Korea have all been within range of North Korean missiles for many years now.  In the case of South Korea its capital Seoul is said to be within range of North Korea’s artillery as well.  All of these countries have been obliged to live with this “threat” for years, and are by now used to it.  The US for its part did nothing for them during all this time, and took no step to put an end to this “threat” to them even as they were being “threatened”.

It must be beyond vexing for all these countries that the moment North Korea test launches just two missiles which may have the range to reach the US – though this is disputed by the Russians – the airwaves suddenly fill with talk of the extraordinary danger North Korea poses.  These countries must wonder why a danger to the US from North Korea matters so much more than does a danger from North Korea to themselves.

In reality, though the test launches of the Hwasong-14 missile represent an impressive technical achievement – all the more so because the missile is mobile and road launched – the missile appears to be still in its development stage, with its payload apparently small and with great uncertainty as to whether the North Koreans have miniaturised their nuclear warhead technology sufficiently to arm it.  There is therefore still time before the missile enters service and does so in any quantity.

Beyond these questions there remains the overriding fact that even if North Korea does eventually field a number of operational missiles of this sort its nuclear capabilities will still be overwhelmingly dwarfed by those of the US, a fact which because of the immense industrial and technological disparity between the two powers will never change.  What that means is that unless the entire North Korean leadership – including Kim Jong-un – are intent on a bizarre form of suicide, there is no possibility of North Korea launching nuclear armed Hwasong-14 missiles at the US except in self-defence.

The US can therefore afford to take these North Korean missile tests in its stride.  By contrast threatening military action against North Korea – or worse still actually engaging in it – is the one thing that might actually provoke North Korea to strike against the US – or more realistically against one of the US’s allies – of which in all other respects no risk exists.

Ultimately the solution to the conflict in the Korean Peninsula lies through the same route which it has always done: through direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang.  There is no need to involve China in them all the more so as the US has never explained why China would want to pick Washington’s North Korean coals out of the fire.  As the Chinese have repeatedly and correctly explained, North Korea with its missiles and its nuclear weapons ultimately is not their problem.

Victor Gao, a former diplomat who the BBC says is a Chinese government adviser, is reported by the BBC to have said that President Trump’s comments about China on the North Korean issue were “unhelpful” and that the US is acting like a “spoiled child”.  On the facts it is difficult to disagree.

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Russia’s economy continues to outperform as gold takes center stage (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 118.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine how US and EU sanctions have continued to provide a huge boost to Russia’s economy. Russia’s food sovereignty has practically been achieved, as the Russian central bank continues to buy gold and lower its exposure to western financial markets.

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Via TASS…

Outside pressure in the form of sanctions has become an incentive to resolve various issues of Russia’s economy, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev stated in an interview with the Izvestiya daily.

He noted that through introducing sanctions against Russia, “the West aims to destabilize Russia’s economy and to create social and political tensions in society.”

“But during the difficult times, Russians have always stuck together and mobilized their resources in order to ensure the country’s sovereignty. This is what is happening now – the outside pressure has become an incentive to resolve many problems in Russia’s economy,” he said.

“Before the sanctions, it seemed that we would never be able to feed ourselves and that we are doomed to be dependent on Western import. However, right now, Russia’s food sovereignty in crucial sectors has practically been achieved, and in some areas, Russia has become the leading exporter,” Patrushev noted.

Those who apply the sanctions “can see that they (the sanctions – TASS) are ineffective and often achieve the opposite goal,” the Russian security chief concluded.

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US Neocon Foreign Policy and the War Waged Against Serbia

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign.

Richard Galustian

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The ‘witch-hunt’ against President Trump over Russian collusion has officially ended, following the submission of the Mueller Report, enabling us to now focus on the real problems of America that effects the whole world.

In the hope of a waining of the Russophobia in America, let’s look at the US’s recent war history by starting with the 20th anniversary this month of the NATO war on Serbia in 1999 which amounted to almost 100 days of bombing of historic cities and infrastructure.

Firstly, these problems are, in the main caused by the Neocons, or Deep State, whatever you wish to call them, and the continuing promotion, by the US Military-Security Industrial Complex, of wars and regime change and secondly, Trump’s unreserved support for Israel, regardless of war crimes they may continue to commit against the Palestinians.

Incredibly after that one sided unjust and illegal war that NATO executed, NATO has the audacity to invite Serbia to join it! Something that will never happen. What do they smoke in DC, in the Pentagon and Brussels based NATO?

To compound these overall problems, the US Military and Israeli Defence Forces collaborate on these US regime change policies on all continents evidenced most recently by the arrival of crack Israeli troops last month in Brazil, prepared to support an attack potentially by Brazil and Columbia on Venezuela.

As, has now come to be expected, America pursues its Venezuelan regime change with full main stream media (MSM) cooperation, using well proven sophisticated propaganda techniques along with a variety of pretexts.

From Serbia to Iraq to Libya, where does it end? Observe that Trump is now seeking a ‘NATO alliance’ offering NATO status, to President Bolsonaro of Brazil to back the invasion of Venezuela.

So it is important to remember, as an example, that after a long war of economic and financial destabilization ended with the bombing of Serbia.

Serbia was previously a part of Yugoslavia, a country which had successfully evolved after 1945 to solve the old rivalries of the 19th and early 20th Century Balkan ethnic animosities which was, prior to the advent of power of President Tito, its past history.

The United Nations, instead of supporting, in effect, so called ‘humanitarian wars’ and ‘regime change wars’ by the US, using NATO, helped and relentlessly driven home by MSM outlets like CNN and FOX NEWS into people’s heads, must finally take a stand.

So too, Yugoslavia, once the envy of many in the world, given its then ‘non-aligned’ status under President Tito, was destroyed and broken up; ‘Balkanized’ in the early 1990s.

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign. That’s what we can expect in Venezuela next.

This ‘Balkanization’ strategy similarly applies to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria et al. It serves US Neocon interests to dismember States in the world and create smaller more ‘manageable’ countries.

‘Regime change’ runs against the intent, the very words contained in the US Constitution. No one in MSM ever reminds us of that fact. Nevertheless America’s ambition to overthrow other States continues, which they arrogantly now make no secret of. The next States will probably be Nicaragua then Iran to name but two.

A very noteworthy most recent outrageous unilateral declaration was made by President Trump, not yet formally agreed by US institutions, ‘giving’ something he has no authority to give; Syrian territory, the Golan Heights to be precise, to Israel. Something that one day could trigger a full scale Arab-Israeli War.

This is of extreme importance yet no real outcry comes from world leaders; well not so far.

The main reason for that decision given by senior US Administration figures is that “God anointed Trump to save the Jews”.

Not forgetting Trump’s need (which we the people don’t understand exactly why) to support Prime Minister Netanyahu in his difficult upcoming elections in Israel – in part because both countries failed to ‘regime change’ Syria – but more importantly to help the ‘financial terrorists’ who formed a company jointly that has already started drilling for oil in the Golan Heights. You might like to know who owns such oil drilling company which should answer a plethora of questions in one go that you must be asking yourselves.

The shareholder’s names tells us everything; Dick Cheney; Baron Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch. The titular heads of neocons, bankers and media on the planet.

In ending there is no more evidence required for us, the people of the world, to rise up against the globalist dark forces wherever they exist, be it in Brussels, London, France or Washington. We must demand democratic elections or start revolutions, the latter has already begun in France in the form of ‘the yellow vests’. And Brexit, by definition, is a rejection by the British people of globalism and American Hegemony.

The pattern of US destabilization and destruction of States to loot them of their sovereign resources is the unseen history of the last 100 years, not taught in any university, anywhere in the West.

As far as Ukraine is concerned, its government was taken down by the CIA and replaced by an ultra fascist regime that has full backing from America. This is no secret. But the MSM simple don’t report it.

US led NATO is ‘the transnational war machine’ of the world, devouring almost all free countries wealth. It can extort to terrorize all into conformity to the global ‘carcinogenic’ US Neocon imperialistic strategy.

A total estimated 20m people around the world have died since the end of WW11 at the hands of US Forces. Think about that for a moment.

One of the most famous sayings attributed to America’s great President Abraham Lincoln is about deception: “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

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‘Dark day for internet freedom’: EU approves controversial copyright reform

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”

RT

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Via RT


The European Parliament has voted to adopt the highly controversial Article 13 provision which would govern the production and distribution of content online under the auspices of increasing copyright protections.

Tuesday’s move will update the EU’s 20-year-old copyright rules and will govern everything from audiovisual content to memes, much to the dismay of many social media users who have already begun outpouring their grief online.

MEPs passed the legislation by 348 votes to 274 Tuesday. Opponents had hoped for last-minute amendments to be made but their efforts were in vain.

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”

Article 13 or ‘The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market’ makes all platforms legally responsible for the content hosted and shared on their platforms.

The process of updating the bloc’s copyright laws began in the European Commission two years ago, ostensibly to protect Europe’s publishers, broadcasters and artists and guarantee fair compensation from big tech companies.

By essentially forcing companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to pay artists and publishers for the reproduction of their work online, include in meme format, the EU is effectively clamping down on online memery.

The onus will now be on tech companies to clamp down on content-sharing on their platforms, which will likely ensure yet more draconian policing of speech and content.

EU member states now have two years to pass their own laws putting Article 13 into effect.

Tens of thousands marched in protest across Germany ahead of the vote, decrying what they viewed as severe online censorship.

Tech giant Google said that while the directive is “improved” it will still lead to legal uncertainty and will damage Europe’s creative and digital economies.

Critics have argued that the only way for Article 13 to be effectively enforced would be through the use of upload filters which automatically check content to see if it’s copyrighted or not, at least in theory. However, the exact mechanics of such a system have yet to be fully debated and the potential for abuse is immediately clear.

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